NATO and the European Union. New world, new Europe, new threats

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2004
ISBN 0-7546-3801-4
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This work was compiled after the events of 11 September 2001 and in the midst of the war in Afghanistan when direct military intervention in Iraq was anticipated. It reflects upon the breakdown of consensus building between NATO and the European Union, at a time when prospects for a common EU foreign policy were beginning to fall apart as the US pursued its pre-emptive strike approach towards Iraq.

The book is organised in four parts. Part one follows an introduction which presents analysis of the post-9/11 syndrome and the political and strategic issues arising from both 'anti-state terrorism' and 'state supported terrorism'. Chapter one explores the threats to global governance presented by the 'war on terrorism' - a war without borders - waged against the forces of asymmetrical conflict which seek to undermine the social and governmental structures of northern advanced societies. Chapter two considers the new terrorism threats as having replaced the former Soviet threats of the Cold War period, thus requiring a new response based upon multilateral dissuasion.

Part two examines the changing role of NATO in its newly restructured state. Chapter three considers that NATO is not yet ready for a post-mortem but will require remedial treatment involving reform by both the alliance and the EU if it is to meet the new challenges. Chapter four explains the NATO-European policy disputes inherent in the decision to enlarge the alliance, and warns of the need to reach a proportionate balance in the forces engaged in NATO. The fundamental changes happening between American and European military capabilities and the impact of technology advances are explored in chapter five. An interesting Russian perspective of NATO relationships is offered in chapter six which argues for stronger Russian-EU links rather than NATO-Russian ties. The latter mentioned NATO-Russian relationship is examined in greater detail in chapter seven.

Part three, comprised of chapters eight to eleven, examines the applied aspects of the 'war on terrorism' and the nature of the 'new threats' as seen through American and European eyes. Chapter eight argues that the relationship between US/NATO/EU and Russia will necessarily be much closer and more long term than previously considered. The misperceptions of the EU and the US on the effects of their differing policies towards the Islamic world are explored in chapter nine. A German perspective on the war against terrorism and the incidence of states building up weapons of mass destruction is given in chapter ten. The growing divergence between the US and Europe, and the differences in how to fight the new international 'hyper terrorism' are explored in chapter eleven.

Part four seeks a way forward that sheds the shibboleths of past disputes that have led to the proliferation of WMD and the stimulation of terrorism. Chapter twelve considers the crisis in Central Asia from the perspective of the regional powers and examines the Sino-Russian influence. The US-Russian relationship and potential for a joint US-Russian role in central Asia is explored in chapter thirteen. South Asia and the nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan is the focus of chapter fourteen. The failure of the US 'double containment' policy in regard to Iran and Iraq is featured in chapter fifteen, which also explores Iran's geo-economics of oil and poppies and the legitimacy crisis faced by the Islamic regime. Chapter sixteen examines the issues arising from the US policies of selective intervention in the Middle East and the timing and strength of commitment to find solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Indian-Pakistani dispute. It raises the question of the US becoming overextended as it seeks to address an expanding number of disputes and conflicts.

The work will interest scholars and students, policy makers and researchers, engaged in European Union studies, defence studies and the NATO alliance as well as those involved in anti-terrorism policies and activities.

Hall Gardner is Professor and Chair, Department of International Affairs, The American University of Paris, France.

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